A new mobile payment service is launching in the US that will pose a serious challenge to those already operating in the sector. mPowa, launched by British e-commerce serial entrepreneur Dan Wagner, is expected to encroach on the market share held in the US by Square by capitalising on weaknesses of the current American market leader.
mPowa is a service that includes a mobile phone app and a reader which connects to a smartphone or mobile device either by plugging into its headphone socket or via Bluetooth. It allows merchants to take payments on the go and will appeal to a wide range of businesses.
The mobile app is free to download on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices and functions as the control centre that accepts payment in multiple currencies anywhere in the world. It monitors payments made by card as well as cash and cheque, as well as processing each transaction securely.
The reader, when connected to a mobile phone, is used to swipe the magnetic strip of the card, or for the chip and pin device, the card is inserted and the customer is prompted to enter their PIN code. mPowa enables businesses, including sole traders, to take payments immediately without waiting for invoices to be issued and paid and mobilizes sales organisations in the field to take payment for goods and services.
mPowa, although released after US competitor Square, differs in that it is the first service of its kind to enable businesses who already accept card payments, through their existing banking arrangements, to now have the benefit of mPowa's mobility. In addition, a new swathe of businesses, particularly SMEs, will be able to accept card payments on the go for the first time.
Unlike Square, mPowa also caters for Chip & PIN cards. As increasing numbers of credit card companies worldwide are beginning to introduce cards bearing a chip, this feature from mPowa is very important both locally and internationally where in many markets it is a requirement for merchants.
Heavyweight European-based entrepreneur Dan Wagner, Chairman and CEO of Powa Technologies, the company behind mPowa, created the product after success with his previous ventures. His first company M.A.I.D (Marketing Analysis & Information Database) was founded in 1984 and after dominating the sector, was sold to Thomson Reuters for approximately half a billion dollars. He established Venda - the world's largest 'on demand' ecommerce provider and has applied his deep affinity with the sector to create another market leading business.
Dan, who has been lauded for his ability to spot trends far in advance, said, "The rich e-commerce heritage of the company borne out of supplying solutions to major global brands and the extensive knowledge we have of the US marketplace has enabled us to create a service that has really differentiated us from what is already available. We have five patents on our important innovations and we have created a compelling offering for all companies - whatever their size. Whether you're a large enterprise looking to mobilise your sales team, a street vendor, or a local plumber who wants to accept payment on the spot, even from customers who don't have cash to hand, this is a product that will have a huge impact right across the country."
"It was incredibly important to us that we were able to cater for the growing number of credit cards globally that bear a chip. Chip & PIN technology is already extensively used throughout Europe and Asia and as more companies introduce it as a way of providing an added layer of security, the features of mPowa become all the more crucial for companies worldwide. mPowa will be an invaluable service for accepting payments whether the point of sale is the doorstep or the shop floor."
Both the mobile app and reader are free and the only cost associated with using mPowa is the small 0.25% fee charged for each credit or debit card payment processed, making it accessible to all businesses. A web-based Merchant Dashboard account management system enables users to fully monitor payments in addition to the mobile app. Meanwhile, receipts can be sent by email or SMS.